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Description

Building on a legend.

Santa Cruz's Tallboy is a modern classic among trail bikes, and the Tallboy 2 Carbon SPX XC Complete Mountain Bike keeps building upon its legend. Its Shimano XT drivetrain and brakeset provide dependable control, while Santa Cruz-built wheels inspire confidence on the trail. So, tear up your favorite trails, the Tallboy 2 is ready whenever you are.

When revising the Tallboy, Santa Cruz made sure that any improvements were exactly that, improvements. After all, why mess with a good thing? So, rather than make changes to the geometry on its best-selling model, Santa Cruz instead looked at ways to shave weight and improve stiffness. The resulting frame takes roughly 100 grams off of the previous carbon generation, while simultaneously increasing the frame's rigidity. You'll find the same collet-style pivot hardware that's become standard for Santa Cruz's suspension bikes. This means that your pivots stay tight and are a breeze to service. And, like the previous Tallboy Carbon, the layup process has been refined in order to fully compact the carbon fiber. A cross-section cut-away makes this plain as day, where the smooth internal walls of each tube illustrate that there's zero extraneous material. Accordingly, Santa Cruz's proprietary layup process makes the frame both as light and strong as possible.

Santa Cruz's spirit of improvement is furthered with some of the Tallboy 2's more subtle details. The first improvement that you'll notice in the saddle is the modified suspension rate. Specifically, the progressivity at the end of the stroke has been reduced in comparison to the original Tallboy. In translation, modern shocks are more capable of resisting bottoming-out than they were during the genesis of the Tallboy. So, this revised suspension layout provides full travel with the current generation of suspension dampers. More specifically, it's tuned for the FOX Racing Shox FLOAT CTD shock, which features FOX's CTD adjustment scheme for simplified suspension tuning. And, piggy-backing off of improved suspension action, the overall efficiency receives a boost as well.

The suspension is a refinement of Santa Cruz's dual-link, counter-rotating VPP suspension design. When compressing the suspension from the beginning of the stroke, most of the rotation happens in the stiff aluminum top link, which pulls the wheel closer to the bottom bracket. That keeps the Tallboy soft off of the top, making for a supremely smooth ride. And, once you pass the sag point and get deeper into the travel, the forged aluminum lower link handles most of the rotation. This means that the rear wheel is traveling away from the bottom bracket, so it's better equipped to handle larger, square-edged impacts. VPP is also incredibly effective at neutralizing braking forces, which prevents either stiffening or extending under hard braking. But, the main benefit that you'll notice with this suspension platform is that it isolates pedaling forces in order to keep the bike from bobbing.The lower link has easily accessible grease ports, once again increasing the ease of service.

Perhaps the biggest change is that Santa Cruz is providing the Tallboy 2 in a size Small. Previous iterations of the Tallboy weren't available in sizes smaller than Medium, because the suspension platform provided a limited stand-over. Stand-over is of particular importance to riders, especially on bikes with 29-inch wheels. However, the updated suspension layout lowered the shock mount enough to provide plenty of stand-over for a Small size to be added. Not surprisingly, this provides the same fit that you'd expect from Santa Cruz's other models.

The SPX XC build kit was designed for those who prefer to spend time riding instead of wrenching. Shimano's XT group set gets the nod for the drivetrain and brakes, which promises quick, reliable shifts. And, when you add in the stiffness of the XT crankset, and the gobs of power offered up by the XT brakes, you get a bike that's up for anything. Easton's handlebar and stem keep the bike steering where you point it, and a Thomson post supports WTB's venerable Silverado saddle. The wheelset is built in-house by Santa Cruz's dedicated wheel building crew. It's comprised of DT Swiss' 350 hubs, laced with butted DT 14/15 gauge butted spokes to WTB's Frequency Team i19 TCS rims. Not only do you get a wheelset that's light and tough, but they make for a quick tubeless conversion should you choose to go that route. Additionally, Santa Cruz wrapped the wheels in Maxxis Crossmark tires, ensuring plenty of grip and a low rolling-resistance.

Those with considerable saddle time on the Tallboy platform know that despite its modest 100mm wheel travel, this is a bike that begs to be pushed hard. This has been further enhanced through the the VPP's pairing with a trail-worthy FOX 32 FLOAT 29 FIT CTD  with Trail Adjust and Kashima coated 120mm fork. Additionally, the Tallboy 2 receives stealth routing for dropper seatposts. So, you have several options if you're looking for more control on descents and technical sections. For compatibility with tapered forks, the mixed-tapered 44/56mm head tube carries over, as does the 142x12mm thru-axle rear end. Both traits not only boost the stiffness of the frame, but of the bike as a whole. This equates to a precise level of tracking, which is particularly noticeable on rough lines and off-camber sections.

The Santa Cruz Tallboy 2 Carbon SPX XC Complete Mountain Bike is available in five sizes from Small to XX-Large and in the colors Gloss White/black and Matte Black/white.

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